The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

June 13, 2013

School’s Out!

By Doug Creamer
CNHI

Thursday, June 13, 2013 — We took our last exams and then we sent the kids home for the summer. It is a happy day for both students and teachers. It has been a good school year, but it is always good to send the students home for summer vacation. Now we have a couple of days to clean our rooms, turn in our final grades, complete some paperwork and say good bye to our colleagues.

Summer vacation is a much-needed break from the classroom. I can finally find some time to do some reading that I want to do. I have two good books I can’t wait to get started on. But summer vacation is also a time to regenerate, go to some workshops and prepare for a brand new school year … which will be here in a flash.

Summer vacation gives me an opportunity to stir up the creative juices. I am planning to do some writing this summer … who knows, I may yet finish the sequel to “The Bluebird Café.” I am also hoping to work on my website and help some guys work on our church website. It’s important to get the creative energy moving again so I can take that energy back to my classroom. Creativity needs to be nurtured and stirred up once in a while.

Summer vacation usually means that some project will be worked on around the house. I am beginning to imagine myself holding a paint brush. There was talk of painting last year, but it never came about. This summer I believe that I will put some action to those plans. There are actually several projects that would be great to get done, but a couple of them are going to have to wait until next summer … can’t do everything all at once.

Summer vacation comes with a built in trap. It is easy to get lazy and lethargic on those hot summer days. A summer without a focus can result in wasted time. The time will be filled but nothing will be accomplished. It’s easy to become distracted and watch the days disappear. To avoid the trap I need to keep my guard up.

It’s easy to become spiritually lazy as well. Teachers are tired, so it can be easy to slack up on praying. I can spend an hour on my porch reading and thinking and simply forget about praying. I normally keep up with my Bible reading every day, but sometimes when we travel that can slip. The need to rest is biblical, but being spiritually lazy is not.

The daily routines of life help me maintain my spiritual life. But when that structure is gone things can slip spiritually. When I am in school I have to stay focused mentally, physically and spiritually. When school is out two things can happen. Sometimes I grow spiritually in an exponential way. It happens when I spend extra time in prayer and Bible study. Then there are times when I get slack and don’t grow, in fact, I get weaker.

So when we go on vacations, get out of our daily routines, and especially when we are tired, we have to be vigilant to maintain our spiritual life. When did Jesus face his toughest temptations? When he fasted 40 days and he was hungry and tired. The enemy is smart, he doesn’t attack us when we are strong but when our guard is down and we are weak.

School and learning is set aside for the summer. Spiritual growth can never be put on hold. We have to always be learning and growing spiritually. The enemy doesn’t rest; he is always looking to exploit a weakness. We must be spiritually alert, constantly reading the Word and praying. We must be wise to the traps the enemy sets for us. We must keep our swords sharp, our minds alert and our spirits in tune with what the Spirit of God is saying to us. Being spiritually lazy is not an option if we want to be effective Christians.

I want to encourage you to be strong and to keep up your guard spiritually. It is equally important to rest and be refreshed but to do so while maintaining your spiritual integrity. It is easy to slip down the hill of laziness. God has great plans for your life but in order to achieve them you have to maintain your spiritual growth and defenses. Schools may be closed for the summer, but learning and growing spiritually is an everyday responsibility.



Doug Creamer teaches Marketing at East Davidson High School. His website is  www.dougcreamer.com. Contact him at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or email doug@dougcreamer.com.